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Stripe’s Patrick Collison hits back at Plaid CEO’s accusations

Two fintech powerhouses went head to head on social media last week. Storm in teacup?

two men standing together

Stripe founders/Stripe

Fintech is noteworthy for its friendly and collegiate atmosphere, despite the staggering potential financial rewards for its long term winners.

Last week on social media, however, some tenser times were evident. 

Plaid’s CEO Zach Perrett accused Stripe of similarities between its new open banking product Financial Connections, which connects bank accounts, and its own open banking platform, in (a now-deleted) tweet.

Stripe’s CEO Patrick Collison on Friday hit back at claims in a company memo made public by his brother John Collison, the company’s president, on Twitter.

Patrick shared this note internally about the Financial Connections/Plaid kerfuffle. Glad to put it behind us, and I'm look forward to continued vibrant competition in fintech (which customers benefit from!) in the future.

— John Collison (@collision)

In the memo, Patrick Collison said he was “bothered quite a bit” by the accusation of “less than upstanding dealings” between the two companies in relation to the new product.

He also said Jay Shah, Stripe’s head of product, and a key character in the saga was a “scrupulously ethical individual”.

Shah, he confirmed, did interview with Plaid eight years back but the Financial Connections product didn’t start to be built until “a few years” later and wasn’t conceived at the time of the interview.

In addition, a tender process for work on the product they engaged Plaid to bid for the work but this was part of normal processes with other firms also involved.

“We should certainly be open to the possibility that we could have handled things better. Maybe we should have explicitly reached out to them to discuss this upcoming launch, so they could privately express any concerns that they had?,” Patrick Collison said in the memo.

The issue seems to have been worked out, at least from how it is playing out on social media, with Perret saying it may have been a “misunderstanding” and that he was presuming “positive intent”.

Deleted tweet. Misunderstanding or different styles perhaps. Presuming positive intent.

— Zachary Perret (@zachperret)

Next take: Welcome to the fintech party,

— Zachary Perret (@zachperret)

Plaid and Stripe are also still technology partners, AltFi understands. 

Collison meanwhile did warn staff that when entering new fintech markets it should be “particularly careful” if there are existing competitors.

Both Plaid and Stripe declined to comment specifically on the issue.

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